• France, c. 1913
  • Glass
  • Inv. 1226

‘Gorgons’ vase

René Lalique

White glass vase, moulded/blown with lost-wax casting, a technique derived from an ancient process for casting bronze, with an amber-coloured glaze. The vase is decorated with four medallions embellished with the heads of gorgons, monstrous creatures of Greek mythology, whose hair, in the form of snakes, intertwine with naked human bodies. The use of decorative elements which simultaneously repulse and attract is characteristic of the artist’s production and the art nouveau style. The vase, a unique piece, is part of a glass set produced at the beginning of Lalique’s career as a master glassmaker and which Calouste Gulbenkian, particularly aware of the potential of the artist, his personal friend for over five decades, collected in considerable quantity.

Acquired by Calouste Gulbenkian from René Lalique, 1913.

H. 23.5 cm; W. 27 cm

Marcilhac 1989

Félix Marcilhac, R. Lalique. Catalogue raisonné de l’œuvre de verre. Paris: Éditions de l'Amateur, 1989, CP109, p. 988.

Lisbon 2000

The Collector's Taste. Calouste S. Gulbenkian 1869-1955, exhibition catalogue. Lisbon: Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, 2000, pp. 216–17, cat. 64.